Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Sundance 07: “B” also stands for bad behavior when actor withdraws support for Sundance hit “Waitress”
One of my favorite Sundance gossip stories involves a Canadian friend and colleague involved in the festival’s shortest press interview.
My reporter friend sat down to interview a fellow Canadian, Nathan Fillion, who was at the festival to support his lead role in “Waitress,” an audience-friendly drama about an unhappily married waitress (Keri Russell; pictured above) who experiences a shot at a happier life via a relationship with the new town doctor (Fillion).
Fillion’s publicity work was extra important because the director of “Waitress,” veteran New York actress Adrienne Shelly, was tragically murdered in November. Feeling ill due to her pregnancy, Keri Russell bowed out of many of her press commitments. It was up to Fillion to stand right by Shelly and work at spreading the word on her film. Instead, after recognizing his interviewer’s name, he went on a tirade regarding his earlier film work, the sci-fi adventure “Serenity” and the monster movie “Slither.”
“Now I know why you didn’t introduce yourself,” Fillion snarled at the surprised reporter. “Do you know you’re the only critic who didn’t like “Serenity”?”
Fillion was referring to the critic’s negative “Serenity” review, which ran in his hometown paper in Edmonton, Alberta, in front of his parents, no less.
Any attempts to flip to the topic of “Waitress” was lost when Fillion got up and left. Clearly, his ego took priority over his obligation to Shelly and her movie.
The good news is that Fox Searchlight bought “Waitress” at Sundance and plans to release the film in late 2007. This means Fillion will have another chance at promoting the film and acting right. My Canadian friend would probably be willing to sit down again for a second-try interview. After all, she’s a professional.
I hate to see 'gossip' such as this. It just shines a bad light on an exceptionally nice man for no reason. From all I've ever read and seen of him, he's always been unusually kind to fans, reporters, co-workers, etc.
I can say this as I was once a (and may still be yet) a professional journalist who has interviewed many people, and I take pride in putting people at ease and being fair to their obvious talent. The "Serenity" reviewer obviously had other issues.
I hate to sound negative, but having been a Browncoat for a long time, I'm heard nothing but positive remarks about Fillion's treatment of people in public. In fact, I've read his MySpace page and he's even made light of the people that spoofed his name to create a fake MySpace account. To have him walk out of an interview just sounds completely contradictory to his previous behavior.
By all accounts (except you, Mr. Random Blogger Who Knows Someone Who Heard Something) Nathan Fillion is one of the kindest, most giving actors working today. He is immensely respectful of his many extremely devoted fans, and has done nothing but act with respect and dignity in the promotion of Waitress and in preserving Adrienne Shelly's memory.
I'm assuming you never read any of the comments that Nathan AND his family made after the review was published in interviews with the Edmonton Journal regarding that very same bad review? Shocking to me that he'd be so upset about something in front of a room full of journalists that he had publicly joked about and taken in much good humor.
Secondly, your headline is as misleading as it is inflammatory. Declining to speak to one reporter out of probably hundreds hardly qualifies as "withdrawing support" for the film he's representing - or "bad behavior", for that matter. So not only are you reporting an event that by your own admission hasn't even been corroborated to be true, you're adding insult to injury by grossly mischaracterizing the alleged event. Wow.
Finally, even if this did really happen, it would have _entirely_ been Mr. Fillion's prerogative to choose not to speak to a reporter who had written negatively about his prior work - especially if, as you yourself assert, said reporter went out of their way not to introduce him/herself in an attempt to shield their identity from Mr. Fillion. Come on!
And by the way? I've met Nathan, and know people who've worked with him. He's one of the good guys - an incredibly decent individual (not to mention very talented).
I respect that this is your blog, but would appreciate it if you would approve this comment for posting. Thanks.
I could definitely see him jokingly prodding the critic for the bad review, but the way you say it makes him seem like a tyrant, which is just unbelievable.
All the stuff that he and the Firefly cast just did in December at the Browncoat Backup Bash (for free I might add), tells me that his/their actions speak louder than your words.
I notice that very few of you folks bothered to check this out and give any of them so much as an "Attaboy".
You can go stick your negativity where the Sun doesn't shine, because I've seen plenty of times where he has gone out of his way to treat people kindly.
If all you can come up with is gossip, I have to question why you're setting this down in writing. Perhaps Fillion is not the one who ought to bone up on professionalism.
sounds SO typical of Nathan's humour - taken out of context - to me.
I suggest you check out this article from EW, which starts off saying, "Why ''Serenity'''s Nathan Fillion is such a nice guy."
Plus, when you really love your work like Nathan loves Firefly/Serenity, then people can take things personally. That's just how things work. If someone said something negative about a family member of yours, you'd be mad as well. Welcome to the real world.
that being said, i doubt the power she wields was responsible for it's box office failure, and so why bother being nice to her now? she obviously doesn't know what she's talking about when it comes to reviewing films anyhow. :)
well I would say more but EVERY SINGLE person above me pretty much covered it, in short,
gossip = bad
nathan fillion = polite and awesome
you = stupid.
well. there ya are.
try credibility. I find that it helps with people hating me.
If you want to talk unprofessional, trying to make this out like an act of disrespect towards Shelley is the epitome of nasty, low blows. Could it possibly be that Fillion walked out, if indeed he did so, because he didn't want her last film and her memory dishonored by someone who was obviously hostile towards him and his work?
I simply cannot believe, given his previous behavior, that Fillion threw an unprovoked snit over a poor review. Please save the slanderous gossip for the ill-behaved likes of Tom Cruise and Lindsay Lohan, and stop acting like a tabloid "reporter" when it comes to someone who has set a solid example throughout his career of how a celebrity should behave.
I don’t know what the whole story is nor do I care. Nathan does have a reputation for being a nice guy, but he is human and capable of behaving as such. I do feel it’s unfair to judge you and your friend without knowing the whole story. Not all Nathan’s fans go into ‘feeding frenzy’ when something less than positive is posted about him (which is rare). After reading the rants posted, I’m embarrassed to even admit I am a fan.
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